Lifespan tries to keep Partners out of RI. I ’m quoted in the Boston Globe
Big bad Partners HealthCare plans to take over Rhode Island’s number two player, Care New England. Lifespan, the market leader is trying to keep Partners out by appealing to Rhode Islanders’ resentment of out-of-state players and claiming to have the public interest at heart. “This is not about Lifespan,” [Lifespan’s CEO Dr. Timothy] Babineau said in an interview. “This is about the future of health care in Rhode Island.” Actually, Lifespan seems to want to go from being the big fish in a small pond to the only fish, by merging with Care New England and Brown, in a so-called &ldquo...
Source: Health Business Blog - April 25, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Hospitals Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

You ’ ve come a long way baby! And thanks to Ovia, your mom ’ s employer knows all about it
There’s an app for that The Denver Post (Tracking your pregnancy on an app may be more public than you think) has published an interesting and disturbing article about the rise of Ovia, an app that collects detailed and personal data from pregnant women and those hoping to conceive. I’m not surprised that the business model is to provide data to employers about their workforce in order to save on medical costs and reduce time away from work. But I am a little surprised at how much data employees are willing to enter on topics like their sex life, color of cervical fluid, miscarriages and so on, while the app al...
Source: Health Business Blog - April 25, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: e-health Economics Source Type: blogs

LinkedIn scam a.k.a. Revenge of the self-employed research associate
In late 2015 I received a lot of spam LinkedIn invitations, many from people who listed their positions as “Research Associate at Self-Employed.” It’s a weird title for a self-employed person.  As I wrote at the time (How many self-employed research associates does it take to change a light bulb?) I think it was some kind of phishing attempt. In particular, the aim seemed to be to build an impressive network and gain access to contact info and credentials. Maybe it was related to the 2016 election. The profiles were pretty bare and obviously not of real people, if you bothered to look. But I noticed ...
Source: Health Business Blog - April 23, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Amusements LinkedIn scam Source Type: blogs

You ’ve come a long way baby! And thanks to Ovia, your mom’s employer knows all about it
The Denver Post (Tracking your pregnancy on an app may be more public than you think) has published an interesting and disturbing article about the rise of Ovia, an app that collects detailed and personal data from pregnant women and those hoping to conceive. I’m not surprised that the business model is to provide data to employers about their workforce in order to save on medical costs and reduce time away from work. But I am a little surprised at how much data employees are willing to enter on topics like their sex life, color of cervical fluid, miscarriages and so on, while the app also track things like what medi...
Source: Health Business Blog - April 19, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: e-health ovia Source Type: blogs

You ’ve come a long way baby! And thanks to this app, your mom’s employer knows all about it
The Denver Post (Tracking your pregnancy on an app may be more public than you think) has published an interesting and disturbing article about the rise of Ovia, an app that collects detailed and personal data from pregnant women and those hoping to conceive. I’m not surprised that the business model is to provide data to employers about their workforce in order to save on medical costs and reduce time away from work. But I am a little surprised at how much data employees are willing to enter on topics like their sex life, color of cervical fluid, miscarriages and so on, while the app also track things like what medi...
Source: Health Business Blog - April 19, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: e-health Source Type: blogs

#CareTalk March 2019: Gottlieb ’ s out. What ’ s next for FDA?
The latest edition of #CareTalk is out. CareCentrix CEO, John Driscoll and I explore the departure of FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and other pressing topics. Here’s what we covered: (0:28) Scott Gottlieb is out at FDA. Are you sad to see him go? (2:00) Home health spending is projected to grow faster than any other category of healthcare over the coming years. Is that good or bad? (4:00) Insulin prices are spiking and both Democrats and Republicans are up in arms. What’s happening? (5:53) Lyft is talking about the social determinants of health. What?! (8:47) What do you think about FDA approving ketami...
Source: Health Business Blog - March 21, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Blogs Podcast Policy and politics carecentrix FDA home care insulin Lyft Source Type: blogs

Interoperability in healthcare 2019: Podcast interview with Rhapsody
https://website.guild.im/williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2019/03/Rhapsody-podcast-3_17_19-8.42-PM-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3 Interoperability has a been a buzzword in healthcare for about a decade, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten that far. In this podcast, Rhapsody’s EVP of Product & Strategy, Drew Ivan and I discuss interoperability: its past, present and future. Here’s what we covered: 0:20 What is interoperability anyway? 2:50 Why do we hear about interoperability so much in healthcare? Is it an issues in other industries? 5:11 How does interoperability in the US c...
Source: Health Business Blog - March 19, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Hospitals Podcast Technology interoperability Source Type: blogs

Happy 14th birthday to the Health Business Blog
Happy 14th! My main job is president of Health Business Group, a boutique healthcare strategy consulting firm I founded in 2003. As a sideline, I write the Health Business Blog, where I provide a behind the scenes look at the business of healthcare, featuring my spin on healthcare topics in the news, interviews with entrepreneurs, and policy prescriptions. The blog is turning 14 years old this month!  Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays one,  two,  three,  four,  five,  six,  seven,  eight,  nine,  ten,&...
Source: Health Business Blog - March 12, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Source Type: blogs

#CareTalk February 2019: Medicare for All?
The latest edition of #CareTalk is out. CareCentrix CEO, John Driscoll and I explore Medicare for All and other big topics. Here’s what we covered: (0:35) Is “Medicare for All” quickly becoming a litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates? (2:45) What should be made of the recent moves of home health agencies around primary care? (5:00) Are pharma rebates to blame for increased drug pricing? (8:00) President Trump promised a whopping $50 million a year for childhood cancer. What would you do with all that money? (8:32) Will adding the full list price of drugs in ads make a difference? (9...
Source: Health Business Blog - February 28, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Podcast Policy and politics #medicareforall Caretalk Source Type: blogs

Partners names interim CEO. I ’ m quoted in the Boston Globe
Partners HealthCare moved quickly to appoint Dr. Anne Klibanski as interim CEO after the resignation of Dr. David Torchiana. I was quoted in the Boston Globe story about it: The Boston health care consultant David Williams said naming an interim CEO gives the board some time to conduct a thorough search for a permanent replacement. “They have a history of taking a senior physician and making them CEO of Partners,’’ said Williams, the president of Health Business Group. “Now I think they’re not sure if they want to do that again or if they want to look more broadly for, say, a business per...
Source: Health Business Blog - February 26, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Hospitals Source Type: blogs

David Williams comments on Partners interim CEO in Boston Globe
Partners HealthCare moved quickly to appoint Dr. Anne Klibanski as interim CEO after the resignation of Dr. David Torchiana. David Williams was quoted in the Boston Globe story about it: The Boston health care consultant David Williams said naming an interim CEO gives the board some time to conduct a thorough search for a permanent replacement. “They have a history of taking a senior physician and making them CEO of Partners,’’ said Williams, the president of Health Business Group. “Now I think they’re not sure if they want to do that again or if they want to look more broadly for, say, a...
Source: Health Business Blog - February 25, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Media Mentions Source Type: blogs

Agenus plans digital security offering. PCG ’ s Jeff Ramson explains in this podcast
https://website.guild.im/williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2019/02/agenus-token-offering-.mp3 Biotech company Agenus is launching a “digital security offering” that will let people invest directly in a single biotech product, rather than the whole company. Jeff Ramson, founder and CEO of strategic communications firm PCG Advisory Group, became fascinated by the concept and reached out to me to discuss it, even though he is not involved in the offering. (And neither am I.) In this podcast, we cover the following topics: Agenus is launching the first asset-backed digital security offering in healthcare. What...
Source: Health Business Blog - February 25, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Pharma Podcast Source Type: blogs

Boston Business Journal quotes David Williams on Partners CEO departure
Boston Business Journal quoted David Williams about the sudden departure of Partners HealthCare CEO, Dr. David Tochiana: “(Torchiana) tried to rationalize the organization and make Partners into a real company with more centralized decision-making, and make Partners itself mean something other than just the General and the Brigham,” Williams said. “It’s not surprising that he wasn’t successful. I don’t know if the next person will be successful either, if they will take the same route.” Williams said whoever replaces Torchiana will have to be politically savvy to navigate those wa...
Source: Health Business Blog - February 4, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Media Mentions Source Type: blogs

Experiencing Patient Experience results from MHQP
For the past 14 years, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) has published results of its primary care patient experience survey. The information is useful to the practices themselves as they seek to improve, and to health plans looking to evaluate their networks, improve member service, and pay bonuses to the best practices. This year MHQP added an analysis of free text feedback to its analysis, to give practices more color on the scores. The consumer-facing site, Healthcare Compass lets users view ratings for individual practices and compare up to three at a time. Users can click on the individual categories to le...
Source: Health Business Blog - January 28, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Patients Physicians Research Source Type: blogs

Medicaid Buy-In: A sensible approach for coverage and cost
Show me the coverage! The term ‘Medicare for All’ is being bandied about as the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination gets underway. Declared and potential candidates are warming to the idea. It’s easy to see why: After years of trying to defend complex, compromised Obamacare from GOP rhetorical attacks and legislative and administrative undermining, Democrats are going with a program that is popular and well funded Medicare especially appeals to the middle-aged and older population, who tend to vote. There’s no stigma attached to it It could be funded and implemented as a sweeping pr...
Source: Health Business Blog - January 23, 2019 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Health plans Policy and politics Medicaid medicaid buy-in medicare medicare for all presidential election Source Type: blogs

Getting a handle on health insurance data: Podcast with Vericred CEO Mike Levin
https://healthbusinessblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/hbdew0064-David-E-Williams-interviews-Vericred-Founder-and-CEO-Mike-Levin.m4a Mike Levin, Vericred Founder and CEO A huge ecosystem of technology companies has sprung up with tools to shop for health insurance, search drug coverage, administer HR and benefit plans, make physician appointments and more. They all need accurate, accessible, and detailed data on topics such as health plan design and rates, provider network participation and drug formularies in order to succeed. It’s remarkably difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain the data, and this has c...
Source: Health Business Blog - January 3, 2018 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: e-health Entrepreneurs Health plans Podcast insurtech vericred Source Type: blogs

New Year ’ s predictions in the Boston Globe: I ’ m quoted
The Boston Globe looks ahead to The year that might be, and quotes me talking about the proposed CVS/Aetna tie-up. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - January 2, 2018 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

#CareTalk: Good riddance to 2017
Let’s face it, 2017 was not a great year for healthcare policy. In this last edition of 2017, CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I look back on the worst of the worst and the best of the worst, and look forward with hope to 2018. Overview: (0:21) What were the best and worst things to happen in healthcare policy this year? (3:05) Who should be afraid of Amazon’s entrance into healthcare? (5:15) Are the hospital mergers a good or bad thing? Do they matter? (6:41) Is there hope for healthcare policy in 2018? (9:01) Does the election of Doug Jones for the US senate have any broader implications in the US? (9:43) W...
Source: Health Business Blog - December 29, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Podcast Policy and politics carecentrix Caretalk Source Type: blogs

CHIPping away at the social contract
And then there were none Long before the arrival of the Obama Administration with its explicit goal of expanding health insurance coverage to everyone, the country had achieved consensus on the need to insure all children. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), first enacted in 1997, enables relatively low income families who don’t qualify for Medicaid to get low cost, high quality insurance for their kids. Congress let funding for the program expire at the end of September. CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going. But time is now running out. Alaba...
Source: Health Business Blog - December 20, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Health plans Policy and politics CHIP Doug Jones Medicaid Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at Workers ’ Comp Insider
The Happy Holiday Health Wonk Review edition is up at Workers’ Comp Insider. Host and Health Wonk Review curator Julie Ferguson does a great job of pulling it all together. But I’m skeptical about whether Santa is really a regular reader. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - December 14, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

CVS + Aetna. Are we sure this adds up?
CVS and Aetna. Love at second sight? Many of the stories I’m reading about CVS’s acquisition of Aetna suggests the deal is a bold move to expand CVS’s retail clinic business.  See for example, CVS-Aetna deal has major implications for retail health, primary care practices in FierceHealthcare. If the merger goes through, CVS plans to expand health services at its retail pharmacies, according to CVS and Aetna officials. Although it will take several years to accomplish, CVS will increase its number of clinics and add staff and equipment for a wider variety of treatments. This seems like silly reasoning...
Source: Health Business Blog - December 5, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Economics Health plans Aetna cvs merger Source Type: blogs

#CareTalk: Is value based care here to stay?
In the November edition of #CareTalk, CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I cover everything from my recent accident to Amazon, with a dose of Doug Jones and Judge Roy Moore thrown in for good measure. Overview: (0:18) David talks about a recent accident that he was involved in and what he learned about the U.S. healthcare experience from a patient’s perspective. (1:32) What does Maine’s Medicaid expansion say about healthcare in the U.S.? (3:40) What are the implications of the 2017 elections on U.S. healthcare? (5:40) Where do you see value-based care heading within the next year? (7:18) Will the next HHS secr...
Source: Health Business Blog - December 4, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Podcast Policy and politics Caretalk Source Type: blogs

Ambulance bill rip-off: There ’ s always a public option
A Kaiser Health News story on sky-high ambulance bills caught my attention; I have a long-standing interest in out-of-network billing and a more recent experience of taking a pricey ambulance trip myself. Taken for a ride? Ambulances stick patients with surprise bills, is not a new story. To sum it up: it’s not unusual for a patient to get a bill for thousands of dollars and then to be stuck with a big part of the charge, even if that patient is insured. That’s because many ambulance companies can make more money by being out-of-network. Unlike physicians and hospitals, ambulance companies don’t lose pati...
Source: Health Business Blog - December 1, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Economics Health plans Patients Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at Xpostfactoid
It’s time for the Late Days of Empire edition of the Health Wonk Review, ably hosted over at Xpostfactoid. Enjoy the wonkery while you still can! (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - November 30, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

Blockchain for healthcare: Interview with Fluree co-CEO Brian Platz
https://healthbb.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/hbdew0063-david-e-williams-interviews-fluree-ceo-brian-platz.mp3 Brian Platz, co-CEO of Fluree SilkRoad Technology co-founder Brian Platz has turned his attention to blockchain, with Fluree, a new Public Benefit Corporation that has introduced a scalable blockchain database for decentralized applications. Fluree is not healthcare specific, but there is a lot of potential for blockchain. In this podcast interview we covered the following: (0:10) What is a scalable blockchain database and why is it important? (1:58) What are some of the most pressing database needs in healthcare?...
Source: Health Business Blog - November 14, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Entrepreneurs Podcast Technology blockchain Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at Healthcare Economist
Healthcare Economist has curated a very informative and readable Health Wonk Review, complete with a couple of video bonuses. Check it out! (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - November 9, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

How formidable would Amazon be in pharmacy?
Oops I’m a big fan and customer of Amazon, having placed thousands of orders since 1998. I understand why retailers (and other businesses) quake in their boots at the thought of Amazon disrupting them. As a healthcare insider, I also understand why healthcare companies are especially nervous. Deep down, we understand that US healthcare is tremendously wasteful and inefficient and that Amazon could make the industry look bad and eat its lunch. Still, I’m not convinced that Amazon is going to take over the pharmacy business, the latest topic of discussion. The Wall Street Journal (Amazon’s push into ph...
Source: Health Business Blog - October 31, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Pharma Technology amazon Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review: Disaster edition
Welcome to the disaster edition of the Health Wonk Review! Fire, fire everywhere At Workers’ Comp Insider, Julie Ferguson focuses on response and recovery in the California fires. The cleanup of the toxic devastation poses enormous environmental health risks to fire fighters and residents alike.  She also offers a tribute to the workers who battled the fires, including a little-recognized segment –prisoners who volunteer for fire fighting duty. Can it get any worse? Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal shares the Worst Revolving Door Health Care Case So Far. After having followed and documented many in...
Source: Health Business Blog - October 26, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

#CareTalk: Is bigger better in healthcare?
In this month’s #CareTalk videocast, CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I square off on the theme of bigness in healthcare.   Here’s what you’ll see: (0:26) Is bigger better in healthcare? (1:49) What can smaller companies do to succeed in healthcare? (3:24) How can healthcare companies find a balance between scale and intimacy? (7:05) Will Amazon do something different in healthcare, as opposed to what Google and Apple have done? (8:04) Will the Trump administration kill value-based care? (9:15) Which is more overhyped: wearables or personalized medicine/genomics? By healthcare business consultant&...
Source: Health Business Blog - October 25, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Entrepreneurs Podcast Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

On the sidelines
Hi folks. I haven’t posted in a while. Here’s why: I was crossing the street (in the crosswalk) and was struck by a car. I’m recovering and will get back to 100% but am taking it easy for a while. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - October 18, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at InsureBlog
Check out the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review at InsureBlog, where Hank Stern is our able host. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - October 14, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at Wright on Health
Wright on Health has posted the Repeal Fatigue Edition of the Health Wonk Review. You’ll find there a roundup of fine posts there, and thankfully they aren’t all about the implosion of repeal and replace. Topics include: vulnerable populations, opioids, workers comp and more. Check it out. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - September 28, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I discuss vulnerable populations
In this month’s #CareTalk, John Driscoll and I discuss the protection of vulnerable populations, a particularly timely topic as hurricane season rages on. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - September 27, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Culture Podcast Policy and politics carecentrix Source Type: blogs

Clinical registry solution market heads toward $2 billion
Specialty medical societies such as the American College of Cardiology and American College of Surgeons sponsor clinical registries that collect observational data on patients with specific conditions or procedures, such as heart failure or joint replacement. This “real world” evidence helps hospitals improve quality of care, meet state and federal reporting requirements, and achieve pay-for-performance bonuses. Q-Centrix, which provides technology and services that enable hospitals to participate in registries, commissioned Health Business Group to conduct a market sizing and growth study. We found that the ma...
Source: Health Business Blog - September 20, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Hospitals Research clinical registries Q-Centrix Source Type: blogs

Health Wonk Review is up at Colorado Health Insurance Insider
It’s been an active time for healthcare policy proposals on Capitol Hill. Today’s Health Wonk Review curator, Colorado Health Insurance Insider has posted the never-ending summer of healthcare legislation edition. It’s chockfull of insightful and inspiring posts by the leading health wonks of our day. Check it out. (Source: Health Business Blog)
Source: Health Business Blog - September 14, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Announcements Blogs Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

Nutrition for cancer patients: Podcast interview with Savor CEO Susan Bratton
https://healthbb.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/hbdew0062-david-e-williams-interviews-savor-health-ceo-susan-bratton.mp3 Savor Health CEO, Susan Bratton Nutrition is important for everyone, but for cancer patients it’s especially critical. Many cancer patients struggle with appetite and weight loss; nutrition challenges affect patients’ ability to tolerate treatment and contribute to mortality. Savor Health provides oncology-related nutritional solutions. I spoke with founder and CEO Susan Bratton to learn more. (0:14) Why is nutrition so important for cancer patients? (1:30) How common is malnutrition among canc...
Source: Health Business Blog - September 13, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Entrepreneurs Podcast Source Type: blogs

Single payer debate heats up: Don ’ t say I didn ’ t warn you
Why is single payer popping up now? The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was a sincere attempt by Democrats to write a bipartisan bill that would attract the support of moderate Republicans. It preserved the employer-based system of private insurance, added market-based approaches such as the insurance exchanges, and enforced personal responsibility through the individual mandate. The Republican leadership made a political decision to attack the bill rather than to support it, and the GOP-led Congress and now a GOP-led Administration have tried their best to undermine the law by spreading misinformation (death panels, g...
Source: Health Business Blog - September 12, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: Policy and politics Source Type: blogs

Natural Language Processing: Podcast with Wired Informatics
https://healthbb.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/hbdew0061-david-e-williams-interviews-murali-minnah-from-wired-informatics.mp3 Murali Minnah, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Wired Informatics Natural language processing (NLP) is a fascinating segment of Artificial Intelligence that draws on a variety of emerging scientific fields.   Wired Informatics is developing and commercializing NLP within the healthcare industry. I met co-founder and chief strategy officer, Murali Minnah last year and we have been exploring  applications for NLP within Health Business Group’s client base. I admire the compa...
Source: Health Business Blog - September 5, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: dewe67 Tags: e-health Entrepreneurs Podcast natural language processing NLP Source Type: blogs